A world away from genuine historians who respect soldiers and preserve evidence of service and sacrifice, there are military fetishists who get a safe vicarious thrill from handling the evidence of others’ risk and suffering.
They will do anything to get hold of more of it, whether that is to pillage bloodsoaked battlefields (or buy from pillagers) or buy from burglars who steal retired soldiers’ medals along with anything else of value. And the soldiers’ medals only have value to the burglars because military fetishists are willing to buy them.
A former pipe and drum major in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and his wife have been burgled (and this isn’t an isolated case). As well as Julie Munro’s heirloom engagement ring, a laptop and a mobile phone, the burglars stole Ross Munro’s medals – his memories. As the Scottish Sun’s Gemma Fraser notes, they include ‘decorations for long service, good conduct and a tour of war-torn Kosovo’.
The medals are inscribed with the number 25020614 and the name R A Munro, with the rank of Lance Corporal (L\Cpl) on the (NATO) Kosovo medal, Corporal (Cpl) on the (Iraq) Operation Telic Campaign medal and Sergeant (Sgt) on the Long Service and Good Conduct (LS&GC) medal.
(Like German soldiers’ dog-tags, British soldiers’ medals remain state property, though the UK would only express disappointment if soldiers chose to sell their medals.)